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UTAH STUDENTS WERE NOT INCLUDED IN NATIONAL MATH TEST OF 8TH-GRADERS

National test scores in mathematics released in Washington, D.C., Thursday did not include Utah. The state was one of 13 that did not participate in the national survey of eighth-graders.

When the National Assessment of Educational Progress math tests were proposed in the summer of 1989, Utah State Office of Education officials decided not to participate.The estimated cost to the state would have been $140,000, state officials said, and there was no money in the budget to cover that cost. The legislative session also was concluded for the year so no money could be obtained from that source.

Utah will, however, be a part of the 1992 national assessment, since funds were appropriated by the 1991 Legislature to cover the costs.

In 1990, though it did not take part in the national tests, Utah conducted one of its busiest assessment years in recent history, said David Nelson, state assessment specialist. A statewide achievement test for children in grades five, eight and 11 was administered for the first time, with results presented to the 1991 Legislature.

The state also expanded its core curriculum assessment program to gauge how well students are absorbing actual classroom curricula.

Districts were also required by law to develop "performance reports" for the first time in 1990.